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April 3, 2018 > Farmers? markets provide the taste of spring

Farmers? markets provide the taste of spring

Submitted By Debra Morris

Spring is making its presence known at your farmers? market with the appearance of fresh green herbs, asparagus, local honey, flowers, and spring lamb. It?s also Earth Month and we?d like to remind you that shopping locally is better for the environment by reducing the number of miles your food travels to get to your table. Best of all, produce that is locally gown tastes so much fresh, don?t you think?

Fresh soft herbs are at the top of spring?s list as well. Soft herbs are those that have soft stems, big leaves, and mild flavor. Basil, parsley, chervil, chives, cilantro, tarragon, coriander, mint, and dill are examples of soft herbs. (Hard herbs are usually perennial plants with woody stems like rosemary, thyme, lavender, and sage.) These soft herbs are perfect for marinades and sauces when roasting or grilling lamb.

At the Milpitas Farmers? Market, the Kheang?s Family Farm from Fresno will have some lovely fresh herbs. Nha Trang Produce from Sacramento will have mint, chives, cilantro, parsley, and basil. Alma Produce from Orosi will have chives, parsley, basil, and cilantro. At the Irvington Farmers? Market, you?ll find Esquivel Farms of Watsonville and KYK Produce from Fresno with fresh herbs. Why should you get soft herbs from your farmers? market? They?re going to be just-picked and fresh from the farm. Freshness is very important for keeping the delicate flavors of soft herbs.

Spring is also the time when bees are out collecting nectar from new flowers and the taste of the honey reflects these lively flavors. Make sure you purchase your honey from your local purveyor at the farmers? market because you are then assured the honey comes directly from the bees to you, without additions or subtractions, like most supermarket honey! Purchase sweet local honey from All Honey Apiary, who have their hives in San Jose and surrounding local areas.

And lastly, spring means fresh eggs. Easter was early this year but that doesn?t mean you need to forget fresh eggs. They are a fantastic and inexpensive source of protein. Doan Farm is from Merced and they offer both brown and white eggs at the Milpitas Farmers? Market and Great Valley Poultry of Petaluma has eggs at the Irvington Farmers? Market. Make the perfect spring quiche with asparagus, omelets loaded with fresh spring herbs, and any spring cookies or breads you might be baking.

Let?s say thank you to your local farmers this month. They offer the best in local produce and with very little carbon footprint! Remember to buy fresh and buy local!

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